The period of time immediately following an injury can be chaotic for various reasons. You may feel disoriented, overwhelmed, and out-of-whack for any number of causes. No matter the explanation, you will want to have answers to these certain questions at some point in your recovery process. This list of questions certainly does not include the only ones that you will want answered; this list is merely intended as a starting point:
Once you have been admitted, find out the names of your team. Who are your primary doctors and the other specialists on your team? What are their schedules and availability? If you need them, who do you contact?
Ask your doctor: what is my diagnosis, and has that diagnosis changed since you last saw me? What symptoms caused your diagnosis to change or stay the same? Can you point to a particular cause or symptom for the diagnosis? Make sure to discuss your fears or concerns with the appropriate staff, and make sure your voice is heard.
Ask the nurse or doctor: how are my injuries are responding to your treatment? Is there anything else that you should or could try? It is a fundamental tenet of the “Patient’s Bill of Rights” that each patient has the opportunity to understand his or her diagnosis and treatment plan.
Ask your friends or family to get involved and to support your recovery. Having friends and family motivated to help your recovery can be very powerful. While it may feel like you are burdening them unnecessarily, your friends and family will not mind helping to get you better.
Ask the staff social worker if you have any questions or concerns about billing issues or insurance. Hospital staffs include helpful advisors whose job is to counsel you on what your insurance will cover and what payment options may be advantageous to you.
Talk to your caregivers about any concerns you have regarding your ongoing care, both during your stay at the facility and afterward. Now is the time to start planning for your post-stay needs. Are you going to need special rails or grab-bars in the bathroom? Will your doorways accommodate wheelchairs?
When you are approaching the time of discharge, ask your caregivers about your medication regimen. Should you continue using the prescriptions or over-the-counter medications you were taking prior to your injury? Has anyone checked these medications for conflicts?
Also ask about home tasks you may be undertaking such as wound-care, injections, or other medical tasks. Ask one of the caregivers to observe you practice the routine to assess your ability to complete the task. Also ask about whether you will need to do any of your typical hygienic routines differently due to your medical condition.
Ask if there are any medical support devices or aides that may ease your care or aide you in your transition. Ask about how to obtain these devices, if any are recommended. Ask your caregivers to observe you using the device to ensure you are doing it correctly.
When you are discharged, read over your discharge information package. Take your time and write down or note any questions you have about this paperwork. You need to understand all of the information included. Make sure you note any follow-up care that is needed and make appropriate arrangements.